Julen Lopetegui Photo: Francisco Seco/AP

World Cup favourites Spain have risked plunging their title bid into chaos by sacking coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday.

Lopetegui was fired after failing to reveal his talks to succeed Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid to Spain bosses, and Tuesday night’s shock announcement infuriated Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales.

La Furia Roja are set to kick off their campaign in a heavyweight clash against Portugal on Friday with Director of Football in Spain, Fernando Hierro, in charge of the team.

Rubiales explains the sacking of Lopetegui as follows: “The Spanish national team is the team of all the Spaniards.


“We only found out just five minutes before that he was leaving for Madrid.

“If anybody wants to talk to one of our employees, they have to speak to us too. The national team is the most important we have, the World Cup is the biggest of all.

“All this is a big blow, but the players are very focused and they have told me they are fully committed and will give 100 percent. To win is very important.”

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